Finance bosses within hospitality are reluctant to embrace sustainability and invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to a delegate poll at this year's British Association of Hospitality Accountants (BAHA) conference.
A show of hands revealed that two-thirds of those attending the BAHA conference at the Heathrow Terminal 5 Sofitel hotel last week, represented businesses which did not yet believe there is a business case for sustainable working.
David Clarke, chief executive of Best Western Hotels UK, urged hoteliers to rethink their attitude and called on bosses to spearhead a move to greener business.
“Management must buy into it and then the staff will follow," said Clarke.
Paul Brackley, general manager of the Crowne Plaza in London said that by asking suppliers to make simple changes to their working practices – such as taking their pallets away after a delivery - he was already saving money. “Why should I pay to take away their waste?”
The panel recognised that the current downturn is not the only reason that businesses are slow to embrace change. Academic Rebecca Hawkins suggested that the green message is still considered “worthy rather than sexy”.
“There is also continued confusion over accreditation schemes and concern over payback times. Not so long ago it was difficult to see a return on a major piece of capital investment such as induction cooking in less then three years.
“Now the payback times are improving and with the induction example there are additional savings on air conditioning costs and staff will also benefit from an improved working environment,” said Hawkins.
By Elizabeth Mistry
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